Claude Chabrol John Simon - Essay

John Simon

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

To the French, the drama of adultery is what the Western is to Americans. And no Frenchman in recent times has churned out more of these dramas than Claude Chabrol, whose specialty is adultery seasoned with murder. Chabrol is an interesting case: a charter member of the New Wave, he is, in terms of camera movement, framing of shots, and subtle sense of how to play on the viewer's sensibility, the equal of his idol, Hitchcock. He falls short only of the true artists: the Welles of Citizen Kane, and the great European and Japanese masters. In his finest film, La Femme Infidèle, Chabrol may have achieved that intensity of perception, sympathy for human joy and suffering, and economy of expression without...

(The entire section is 540 words.)